The success of Keri Smith’s Wreck This Journal franchise—about two million print copies sold—reveals a self-help readership eager to keep creative records of their self-improvement journeys.
Mark Nepo, whose The Book of Awakening (Conari) has sold 450,000 print copies since its publication in 2000, offers 100 questions to jump-start journalers’ processes in his latest self-help effort, Things That Join the Sea and the Sky (Sounds True, Nov.).
Wreck This Journal’s Smith returned in October with The Line (Penguin Books), an invitation to grab a pencil and see where things lead. “Travel now to the precipice, the edge. Jump off,” she prompts. “Come back here to the page surface only when you feel ready.”
Her guided journal is among several pubbing in the coming months, each offering a different road map to self-discovery.
Sourcebooks, Feb. 2018
Weekly prompts, illustrations, and inspirational quotes (e.g., “I believe people do great things before they are ready”—Amy Poehler) encourage women “to explore who you are, along with your dreams, your creativity, and your goals.”
Sample prompt: “Who loves you for who you are, not who you might become?” followed by “List a few ways you can show your thankfulness for this person!”
The Book of Joy Journal
Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams. Avery, Oct.
This 365-day companion to The Book of Joy—which has sold 325,000 print copies since its 2016 publication—includes the words of the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Tutu, along with ample blank space for journalers’ thoughts.
Sample quote: “You are made for perfection, but you are not yet perfect. You are a masterpiece in the making.”—Desmond Tutu
The Designing Your Life Workbook
Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. Clarkson Potter, Apr. 2018
In 2016’s Designing Your Life (121,000 print copies sold), Burnett and Evans proposed that thinking like a designer could help readers improve their lives. This interactive companion leads readers through the process, offering space to articulate a “workview” and “lifeview,” create “mind maps” (aka brainstorm), and more.
Sample prompt: “Fill out the gauges on this dashboard from 0 to Full. Is your play gauge at a quarter and your work at full or more? What about love? What about your mental health and your spirit?”
Every Day is Epic
Mary Kate McDevitt. Workman, Oct.
Using retro pastel illustrations, McDevitt, author of 2014’s Hand-Lettering Ledger, provides enough undated journal pages for a year’s worth of self-reflection.
Sample prompt: Journalers answer questions including “What’s the scoop?” (in an ice cream cone–shaped space) and are encouraged to rant about their day (a megaphone accompanies the suggestion to “just yell it out”).
The Joy of Now Journal
Paige Burkes. Castle Point, Jan. 2018
In five minutes a day, Burkes eases readers into embracing mindfulness—“notic[ing], without judgement, all the little things inside and around you that are happening in the present moment” instead of getting lost in the past and future.
Sample prompt: “What places do you need to mark as off-limits? Put an ‘x’ through them.” Among the possibilities: “anger,” “fear,” and “comparison.”
Live This Day
Miriam Hathaway, illustrated by Justine Edge. Compendium, Feb. 2018
Hathaway suggests simple, upbeat tips for making life better. A checklist reminds readers to “be ready with small physical comforts for yourself” when they leave home—possible necessities include sunglasses, breath mints, and over-the-counter pain meds.
Sample prompt: “Just like a car, you need fuel and regular maintenance to run well. What can you do today to refuel yourself?”
One Question a Day for You Me
Aimee Chase. Castle Point, Jan. 2018
Chase invites couples to answer an array of questions designed to improve communication and enhance their relationships. Each dated page includes space to respond three times, so partners can track their emotional evolution over the course of three years.
Sample prompts: “Who is the person you envy most?” and “What can you, as a couple, do better this year?”